“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the Good News.” Philippians 1:12
God’s plan and purpose may not always be your plans and purposes. Bible affirms this truth in Isaiah 55:8-9. God’s thoughts are not your thoughts. God’s ways are not your ways. Just like the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than your ways and his thoughts than your thoughts.
Joseph testified this truth when he said “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20. Joseph could have repaid for their evil when he had an excellent opportunity on his hand, Yet he allowed God’s plan to be fulfilled in his life.
Apostle Paul was a great man of God and a very well organized believer. Yet few of the circumstances occurred to him were not according to his wishes or plans. Romans chapter 1 says how much he was eager to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the city of Rome, which was the center of the then world. However, God had a different plan in his wish to go to Rome. God’s plan for Paul was not more of Gospel preaching in Rome. God’s plan consisted of his arrest and imprisonment for about two years. Roman guards were replaced every four hours to watch him and he was in chains. This restricted his freedom of movement.
Our insight comes from such a bleak background. However, Paul says, “I want you to know, brother and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the good news.” Even such a restricted and embarrassed background resulted in the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ. How? He says in verse 13 everyone there in the court of the emperor Cesar including the palace guard heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Secondly, the other believers in Christ had gained confidence and they began speaking the Gospel boldly without fear. Thirdly, even some of the family members of Nero, an evil emperor, believed in Jesus Christ as elsewhere in Philippians 4:22 reports, Fourthly, we have many of the epistles of the New Testament section of the Bible in our hands because of God’s plan of his imprisonment. These New Testament epistles he wrote advanced the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ over the last 20 centuries. You see, they could stop the preaching of the Gospel in the city of Rome. However, they could not stop him from writing even though he was in chains. God paved a way for the entrance of the good news of Jesus even inside the palace and among the palace guards. It also paved the way for the salvation of Emperors’ own households and reach out to millions of people over the years.
Paul knew God has a better plan behind all that was happening to him. He understood all things, good or bad, whatever, can result in the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Beloved, how about you? Do you know this truth is applicable in your life also if you let God allow you to use your circumstances? He does not waste any pains or troubles. He causes all things to work together for good to achieve His plan through it all. Therefore why don’t you rest assured in God’s better plan? Paul said in Philippians 4 this – I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I understand your plans are better than my plans although I may not comprehend it all now. Down on the road, I would see your hands all over my life. You are the loving and sovereign God. I submit my will to your plans and purposes. I believe you sent your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to save me. I accept him as my savior and Lord. I open my heart and life to your will and plans. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”